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Introduction to WinStars 2


Who has not been dazzled and intrigued when lifting his gaze to the celestial vault on a clear, dark night? The spectacle of those fleeting and distant lights racks both our eyes and our brains. Is this star farther away than that one, or is it simply less luminous? Is that little blot, barely visible over there, a nebula, a star cluster or a galaxy?

Have you ever asked yourself where the Voyager space probes are? What does Saturn look like in Titan’s sky or, better yet, what does the rise of Jupiter look like from the surface of Europa? WinStars can help you find the answers to these questions.

WinStars uses the latest 3D technology to show the objects of our solar system in a realistic manner. Thus, it is possible to move from one planet to another, to follow a space probe on its long voyage or to observe a celestial event from a place to which you could never go. The use of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s DE 404 planetary theories allows us to have a precise representation of the events displayed.


Here are the chief characteristics of the software:

a database of 2,500,000 stars;

a catalogue of 10,000 nebulae, galaxies and star clusters;

a direction of observation which is easily controlled by a mouse and in real time;

a precise representation of the observable sky from a point on the earth’s surface on a given date;

a 3D interface to give more realism to celestial objects;

a calculation of notable astronomical phenomena visible from an observation point on the earth;

detailed information about each object;

a calculation of the positions of the principal satellites of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, of comets and of asteroids;

an outline of the celestial equator, the ecliptic, and a grid of azimuthal and equatorial coordinates;

a 3D outline of the planetary orbits

drives a large range of telescopes

compatible with the seti@home BOINC version

Internet resources are also available:
updated comets and asteroids' elements, querying of DSS (Digitized Sky Survey) servers to obtain a photograph of that portion of the sky being displayed by the program, a notice of the visibility of artificial satellites, etc.

automatic updates;

a program developed entirely in C++


Minimum system requirements

a 1GHz CPU

Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7/Linux with Wine software

DirectX version 9.0c

128 MB of RAM

100 MB of hard drive space

a 3D video card with at least 65535 colors (16 bits)